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- Submarine Groundwater Discharge-Derived Nutrient Loads to San Francisco Bay: Implications to Future Ecosystem Changes
- Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) was quantified at select sites in San Francisco Bay (SFB) from radium (223Ra and 224Ra) and radon (222Rn) activities measured in groundwater and surface water using simple mass balance box models. Based on these models, discharge rates in South and Central Bays were 0.3–7.4 m3 day−1 m−1. Although SGD fluxes at the two regions (Central and South Bays) of SFB were of the same order of magnitude, the dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) species associated with SGD were different. In the South Bay, ammonium (NH 4 + ) concentrations in groundwater were three-fold higher than in open bay waters, and NH 4 + was the primary DIN form discharged by SGD. At the Central Bay site, the primary DIN form in groundwater and associated discharge was nitrate (NO 3 − ). The stable isotope signatures (δ15NNO3 and δ18ONO3) of NO 3 − in the South Bay groundwater and surface waters were both consistent with NO 3 − derived from NH 4 + that was isotopically enriched in 15N by NH 4 + volatilization. Based on the calculated SGD fluxes and groundwater nutrient concentrations, nutrient fluxes associated with SGD can account for up to 16 % of DIN and 22 % of DIP in South and Central Bays. The form of DIN contributed to surface waters from SGD may impact the ratio of NO 3 − to NH 4 + available to phytoplankton with implications to bay productivity, phytoplankton species distribution, and nutrient uptake rates. This assessment of nutrient delivery via groundwater discharge in SFB may provide vital information for future bay ecological wellbeing and sensitivity to future environmental stressors.
- Null, Dimova, Knee, Esser, Swarzenski, Singleton, Stacey, Paytan
- Composition and fluxes of submarine groundwater along the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula
- Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) to the coastal environment along the eastern Yucatan Peninsula, Quintana Roo, Mexico was investigated using a combination of tracer mass balances and analytical solutions. Two distinct submarine groundwater sources including water from the unconfined surficial aquifer discharging at the beach face and water from a deeper aquifer discharging nearshore through submarine springs (ojos) were identified. The groundwater of nearshore ojos was saline and significantly enriched in short-lived radium isotopes (223Ra, 224Ra) relative to the unconfined aquifer beach face groundwater. We estimated SGD from ojos using 223Ra and used a salinity mass balance to estimate the freshwater discharge at the beach face. Analytical calculations were also used to estimate wave set-up and tidally driven saline seepage into the surf zone and were compared to the salinity-based freshwater discharge estimates. Results suggest that average SGD from ojos along the Yucatan Peninsula Caribbean coast is on the order of 308 m3 d−1 m−1 and varies between sampling regions. Higher discharge was observed in the southern regions (568 m3 d−1 m−1) compared to the north (48 m3 d−1 m−1). Discharge at the beach face was in the range of 3.3–8.5 m3 d−1 m−1 for freshwater and 2.7 m3 d−1 m−1 for saline water based on the salinity mass balance and wave- and tidally-driven discharge, respectively. Although discharge from the ojos was larger in volume than discharge from the unconfined aquifer at the beach face, dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) was significantly higher in beach groundwater; thus, discharge of this unconfined beach aquifer groundwater contributed significantly to total DIN loading to the coast. DIN fluxes were up to 9.9 mol d−1 m−1 from ojos and 2.1 mol d−1 m−1 from beach discharge and varied regionally along the 500 km coastline sampled. These results demonstrate the importance of considering the beach zone as a significant nutrient source to coastal waters for future management strategies regarding nutrient loading to reef environments and coastal development. This study also identifies the importance of understanding the connectivity of submarine spring discharge to the nearshore coastal environment and the impact of inland anthropogenic activities may have on coastal health., published
- Null, Knee, Crook, de Sieyes, Rebolledo-Vieyra, Hernández-Terrones, Paytan